The other day I found myself thinking about a certain seasonal matter: the removal of Christmas-related detritus.
It cannot be easy, this cleanup. After spending what must be weeks, putting up outdoor decorations, wreaths, and (of course) the Tree Itself with all its assorted ornaments and shiny gewgaws, breaking everything down and putting it all in its appropriate storage boxes cannot be a trivial process. And then there is the Tree Itself, which (if artificial) must be taken apart and stored, or which (if real) must be taken out and mulched.
No wonder people procrastinate.
With me not being a Christian, I observe all of this at a slight remove. When should you take your tree and decorations down? Is there an appropriate time window? Is Boxing Day too early? How about New Year’s Day? January 6? And when does it start looking like you are shirking your Christmasly Responsibility? Is January 31 too late? These are matters about which I have minimal knowledge.
What I do know is this: We Red Sea Pedestrians have the advantage here.
All we have to do is scrape the wax off of our Chanukiyot (Chanukah menorahs) and go on about our business. For me, it was a matter of some fifteen minutes with a blowtorch, a toothpick, some hot water, and a few paper towels. (Had we used oil lamps instead of candles, as we’ve done in prior years, there would have been no need to clean anything up at all.)
This takes all of fifteen minutes to clean up.
Of course, you could legitimately ask me why it took me until yesterday to do this. But we’re not gonna go there, are we?